Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Summer Book

Nathan left for Leicestershire at 4pm today. I wanted to spend some quality time with him, but I'm panicking about Brass, so sat in the kitchen writing whilst he watched telly in the sitting room. We managed a quick spot of lunch together at the spoon, but by the time he left I wasn't really ready for him to go.

I came down to London Bridge in the  evening which was full to the rafters with people, all of whom seemed to be heading in the opposite direction to me. I felt like an otter swimming up stream!

When I see a cloud of people walking towards me I often wonder how many of those unfamiliar faces I have passed in the street before. The likelihood, of course is that we pass hundreds of people on a daily basis who we don't take in but could well have walked past us on countless occasions. I used to think thoughts like that about my brother before I found him. In fact when we met for the first time we immediately tried to work out if fate had conspired to put us in the same place at the same time at any stage in our pasts.

I was in London Bridge to see Sara Kestelman in The Summer Book at the Unicorn Theatre. It was a highly atmospheric little piece written by Tove Jannson, the wonderful Finnish writer who brought The Moomins to the world. It was, as you might expect, all white nights, loneliness, summer storms and archipelagos: the sort of piece which makes me very keen to visit Scandinavia. I've periodically had dreams of staying in a log cabin on a Swedish island ever since finding out that Benny and Bjorn from ABBA wrote pretty much all of their biggest hits in a shack within the Swedish archipelago. I can imagine a summer on a secluded island being rather good for the old creative juices. Maybe I'll do it one year when I have a composition to immerse myself in.

Sara was, of course, remarkable as the Grandmother in this two-hander and the little girl who played the granddaughter was rather charming too if perhaps a little limited. Such an enormous and demanding role for a young actress...

We went out to Strada afterwards with Philippa and another one of Sara's friends who'd come to see the show. We were served by the most engaging waitress who was from Barcelona of all places. We had a lengthy chat about Cadaquez, the erstwhile Catalonian home of the artist Salvador Dali. Philippa and I visited the place in the year 2000 when Philippa was doing research for her screenplay, Little Ashes, which was turned into a film staring Robert Pattinson some 7 years ago.

Anyone familiar with Dali's work would turn up in Cadaquez and instantly understand where some of the influences from his paintings came from. There's something about the light out there, the muted colours and, more interestingly, a lot of the rock formations on the coast are somehow reminiscent of the jagged shapes and twisted, melted forms of Dali's pictures.

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